Low water levels can be dangerous for young swimmers

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 7/29/2014 9:31 pm
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Summer break is coming to an end for kids in the Washoe County School District. Still, low water levels in the Truckee River are not stopping people from enjoying some fun in the sun.

But experts say low levels can be dangerous, especially for young swimmers. "The water is not as strong, the current is not as strong, however, there is more rocks, so kids can get just as hurt now in the low water as they can in the high water," said Jim Litchfield from the Truckee River Foundation.

With less than two weeks until kids will be heading back to school, the Truckee River is expected to be extra busy. "I think as the last waning weeks of the summer, enjoy the Truckee River, enjoy all the public parks adjacent to the Truckee River, and just use common sense, have fun and be safe," said Litchfield.

Litchfield said despite low water levels, everywhere in the Truckee River is accessible, but he said be aware of your surroundings. "They should always be cautious that there are several low-head dams, diversion dams, in and around the Truckee Meadows, and I really encourage kids and parents to stay away from those."

So if you take your kids swimming during these last few days of summer break, Litchfield has some basic river safety tips. "Swim with their bottom down and their feet up so if they do hit a rock, they are able to bounce off the rock. And if they do put their feet down, be careful to not put them in between rocks where they could get a foot entrapment."

Litchfield wants to remind us all to never swim alone in the river. He also said swimming safety gear is always recommended for young kids.
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